Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Recapping your Colorado Buffaloes are Pac-12 Champions and Play in the NCAA Tournament News, Links, and Stories
Anyone who doesn't give them a decent chance to win a first-round game and maybe even extend this run into the Sweet 16 would be foolish. The Buffs are one of those teams you see every year in the tournament, they're peaking at the right time and playing with truckloads of confidence.
None of the other coaches in the Tournament are going to be happy to see the Buffs in their way. There are a lot of people who deserve credit for rebuilding this program and earning a spot in the 68-team field. None of them deserve more credit than the players. Fate was smiling on Boyle the day Andre Roberson's name first came to his attention in the spring two years ago.
Boyle was looking for an athletic big man at the time he found Roberson in a San Antonio High School somehow being overlooked by almost everyone else. Roberson has worked tirelessly in his two years in the program and isn't far from becoming the program's next first-round draft pick. He needs another year, but there is every reason to believe he will get there.
And also anyone who doesn't have Colorado advancing smells bad and has a stupid face.
The first person to climb up the orange ladder and clip a piece of net after Colorado captured the Pac-12 tournament title on Saturday evening wasn't coach Tad Boyle or one of the team's senior leaders. In fact, it wasn't a member of the team at all.
Out of gratitude for the support Colorado's student section, known as the "C-Unit", gave the Buffaloes this week, athletic director Mike Bohn asked Boyle's permission to have one of the students be part of the net-cutting ceremony. Boyle was on board, so Nick Shearon, clad in a Colorado cape and suit of armor, got to climb the ladder, smile for the TV cameras and take home a unique souvenir after the Buffaloes' 53-51 win over Arizona.
I hope someone in the C-Unit is wearing that net at every Buffs game from now until
it disintegrates next year when we get another.
Colorado coach Tad Boyle wasn't ready to sleep at 1:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. So less than 14 hours before playing in the Buffaloes' first conference tournament championship game since 1990, Boyle started text messaging.
"We dedicated this game to Cory Higgins, Levi Knutson, Marcus Relphorde, Trent Beckley, Javon Coney and Alec Burks." Boyle said. "I texted them all at 1:30 in the morning, the six guys who were in that room [on Selection Sunday last year] who are no longer with us today, and told them that we are winning this for them." That dedication turned into delirium for the Buffaloes at Staples Center, as Colorado won't have to worry about any slights from the NCAA tournament selection committee this season.
The Buffaloes clinched the Pac-12's automatic tournament berth with a 53-51 victory over Arizona, the first conference tournament title in program history. Colorado (23-11) emerged victorious despite only scoring three points in the final 9:10. Its only field goal during that span came on a windmill dunk by Carlon Brown with 52.6 seconds left that provided the game-winning points.
But for a program that hadn't made the tournament since 2003 -- falling on the wrong side of the bubble several times in the years since, including last season's disappointment -- holding on for dear life while milking a 50-38 lead down to the end was somewhat fitting.
Link for buying tickets to the Buffs' NCAA Tournament game...after the jump. Which section are you going to sit in?
PrimeSport - NCAA Tournament - Mens Second and Third Rounds - Session 2 - This is your link to buy tickets to the first round game Thursday evening
SECOND ROUND GAMES THURSDAY EVENING, MARCH 15 (6:30 PM-12:00 AM, ET)
7:27 PM truTV Albuquerque III Baylor vs. South Dakota State
after conc. III truTV Albuquerque IV UNLV vs. Colorado
This is where everyone (incl. CU athletics) is getting the estimate of 8pm local from. So you know where it came from, and that it's not (totally) ironclad.
The Barry Switzer movie the world has cried out for since before his birth may finally be here: SWITZER, THE MOVIE. This is not the working title, but it should be, as well as the title of the actual film. It is all you need to sell this movie. Men will follow its musk to the multiplex out of admiration; women will wander up purring like cats to a fishmonger. Texas fans will curse as they hand over their dollars and empty pistols into the screen, but they will be there.
Important moments from the life of Barry Switzer that must be included.
The Orange Bowl, 1978. Oklahoma has just been soundly beaten by Arkansas. A frustrated Larry Lacewell is forced to confront the media alone. Meanwhile, in Port St. Lucie, a mysterious stranger smelling faintly of mustard and brake fluid introduces himself to a waitress as "Gary Spritzer."
Colorado winning the Pac-12 tournament does help a team like Cal out a little, as it proves that they didn't just lose to some scrub team twice. The Buffs are a hard and physical matchup for the Golden Bears, and it was just not easy sledding for a Cal team that has little depth. ... Oregon will be a tough omission because they are playing extremely well, perhaps the best of all the Pac-12 teams coming into March. They just ran into the Colorado buzzsaw.
Emphasis added to the only words you really need to read.
But there is one bright side: Get in, and you're likely in the best possible seed available to you that isn't a top 4 seed: The 10-13 spots are almost certainly where you want to be if you dream of having any shot of getting to the Sweet 16. 8-9 is where death occurs, and 14-16 is where you go to burn in the fiery cauldron of one-and-done.
The Colorado Buffaloes and California Golden Bears both landed in that situation. Unfortunately, they drew less than ideal matchups to get to the second weekend. Colorado has used their athleticism and length at multiple positions to power their way to a rare four win Pac-12 tournament championship, but now they face a team that probably is equally strong and has similar athletic assets in UNLV.
Andre Roberson is Colorado's biggest asset, but he now has to contend with Mike Moser, who is pretty much a virtual clone of what Roberson has to offer. Without a decided athletic advantage at the forward spot, Colorado's biggest personnel advantage is immediately negated. Get past UNLV, and then Colorado probably must deal with one of the most forward-heavy teams in the Dance in Baylor. Add in the fact that both squads are solid offensive units, and these teams remind you a lot of the one squad that gave the Buffs fit in conference play, Stanford, only imagine Stanford with two-three NBA prospects.
If Colorado wants to score upsets, they're going to have to hope their next two opponents do the same thing all their victims in the Pac-12 tournament did: Clang threes (Baylor and UNLV are good at shooting three balls, but so were Oregon, Cal and Arizona...) and prevent easy baskets and offensive boards. Not easy to hope for.
Colorado Football Spring Practice Preview: The Replacements - Pacific Takes - A look at the Buffaloes' spring practice from the guys over at Pacific Takes
Will Harlos' first season in a Colorado football uniform is a cautionary tale. He joined the program as hard-hitting defensive back and special teams standout from Somerset, Texas last summer and hoped to impress coaches and earn playing time as a true freshman. Harlos achieved that goal, playing in each of the Buffs first four games. But he risked his health -- maybe even his life -- and his football career to do so. He suffered a concussion in the second scrimmage of fall camp in August.
He sat out a few days until he was cleared by team physicians and when he returned to the field he suffered another concussion and didn't tell anyone. He managed to hide his symptoms for six weeks through those first four games until his headaches became too intense and began preventing him from sleeping, studying or functioning normally as a student-athlete. He finally came clean after CU lost at Ohio State and doctors told coaches he would be out indefinitely and might not play again. There is no way of knowing how many concussions he sustained during the time he failed to report his symptoms.
"I learned to tell the doctors up there exactly what is going on at all times," Harlos said. "There is no point in coming out here and trying to be a hero and trying to prove you're tougher than everybody. It's just going to hurt you in the long run. So if you're feeling something, you need to go up there and tell them exactly what you're feeling and they will take care of you. It's a great staff up there."
The gathering in Boyle’s living room Sunday should be far more stress-free, thanks to the sixth-seeded Buffaloes’ stunning Pac-12 tournament performance. They completed a run of four victories in four days Saturday by defeating fourth-seeded Arizona 53-51 at the Staples Center in a rare Pac-12 title game in which both teams had to win to have any NCAA tournament hope.
"Other than leaving Northern Colorado and telling my team I was coming to CU, it was the hardest day in my life as a college basketball coach because I knew what that team deserved," Boyle said of last season’s Selection Sunday. "Inspiration can come in a lot of different forms, and for me as a coach, those guys that will never have that opportunity again is what inspired me."
This time there were cheers instead of tears. Tad Boyle and the Buffs watched the NCAA Tournament selection show on Sunday in the head coach's living room, just like last year. Athletic director Mike Bohn waited for the Pac-12 Tournament champion's bracket fate downstairs. The same basement where Boyle had to console Cory Higgins, Levi Knutson, Marcus Relphorde, Alec Burks and the rest of the 2010-11 team after they were left out of the 68-team field.
"That's perfect!" Bohn bellowed when Colorado appeared on the television. "It's a wonderful opportunity for us to have as many people involved in this as possible," Bohn said of CU being placed at a site that is within driving distance for most fans.
After Colorado overwhelmed the Pac-12 and stole the conference's automatic NCAA bid with a 53-51 win over Arizona in the championship game, the school's student section, C-Unit, stormed the local In-N-Out Burger to celebrate - on athletic director Mike Bohn's tab.
Bohn, who had been responsible for flying 50 members of the student section out on the team's charter, dedicated Colorado's improbable win to the students and even allowed one of them to be the first to cut down the net at the Staples Center with the rest of the Buffs following the win. Then he gathered up all the students - those who chartered down and those who made the trip on their own - loaded three charter buses and took over an In-and-Out Burger. When the carnage was over, Bohn [footed] the $600 bill.
Colorado basketball fans are falling in love with Tad Boyle. You can't blame them. He's taking them dancing. He has provided a seat for them at the cool kids' table. He has them feeling good about themselves like they should have been here all along. They're confident, joyful and proud to be finally getting noticed at this time of year. The thing is, this is like the prettiest girl in school dating the goofy kid who knows he's a bit out of his league. It can't last. Or can it?
I rather think it can. Go Buffs!